News From the Art Room

March 2nd - 6th

Sketchbook Challenge - Video Edition!

It occurred to me the other day that each of our students (at least the ones who take their iPads home at night) are carrying video cameras around--video cameras that just happen to have decent editing software (iMovie) at the ready. When I was growing up we had gigantic VHS cameras whose 40lb batteries lasted all of half an hour and all of our editing capabilities were limited to pausing the record button at the right moment. Despite all of this making videos was the coolest.

Inspired by this I am challenging all iPad holders to try their hand at making a video of some sort. Play around with your camera and with iMovie (available for free via Self-Service). If you'd like to share your video upload it to Google Drive and share it with me (with and I can post it to our YouTube page!

Need some inspiration? Check out this montage of 4th grade Time-Lapse videos!

4th Grade Time Lapse Videos

1st Graders

Pinch Pots & Glazing

We broke out the clay these past weeks and students have been eating it up... figuratively. Not literally ...hopefully. Students learned the same method for making functional clay vessels that humans have been doing for more than 10,000 years--the pinch pot. We spent one lesson playing with the clay and making tactile discoveries. "The clay gets harder the more I touch it", "The clay gets cracks as it dries", "The clay is more sticky when it's still wet".

Once our pinch pots were finished students spent a day glazing them. Our pinch pots are currently sitting at a cozy 181 degrees F in the kiln where they'll stay to fire all weekend. Look for these beauties to come home next week!

2nd Graders

Block Letters and Clay

The 2nd graders have begun getting their hands messy with clay, to everyone's rejoicing. The students learned how to make bubble/block letters last week and took their letters and transferred them to clay slabs. Once the letters were drawn the students were tasked with cutting out their letters without destroying them--no small feat for a 2nd grader!

Next week the students will be scoring and slipping their letters onto a clay tile and will be adding designs to both their tile and their letters. Once fired, the students will be painting their tiles and sealing them with a shiny, clear finish. This is an exciting time in art class for the 2nd graders.

Keep an eye out for their 3D paintings that will be coming home in the next few days--these turned out awesomely and I can't wait to get more of them up out in our hallway here!

3rd Grade

Pinch-Pots to Clay Creatures

The 3rd graders created pinch pots last week much to their chagrin--at first they assumed that they were making the same pinch-pot project that they had done as 1st graders. Au contraire. Instead, we took our finished pinch-pots and bent them to look like a gaping open mouth. Students then built onto their open mouths by adding faces, teeth, etc., transforming their simple pinch-pot into something else.

The first batch of these clay projects are drying out in the kiln as this is being written. Next week the students will begin the process of bringing their clay to life through the addition of color.

Self-Portraits and Murals

The 4th graders continue to make a splash at the Riverview art scene (because that's a thing, right?) with the three murals that they've begun painting in our hallway near the Gold House. The murals being painted are based on designs drawn and submitted for consideration by current 4th graders. This is a first for our students and for our art teacher, so we'll be playing it a bit by the ear. So far so good as students have begun putting up the backgrounds and borders!

While this is going on students are also finishing up their self-portraits by filling in their negative space with different patterns and designs. Students looked at a handful of time-lapse videos before creating their own time-lapse videos of their drawings being done. Students who finish making their time-lapse videos (*cough* sketchbook challenge this week *cough*) can upload them to their digital portfolios and share them with Mr. Stanley. I'll post them to our YouTube page!

5th Graders

Masks, Masks, and More Masks

The 5th graders are engaging in the time-honored tradition around Farmington of creating plaster-craft masks. The plaster portion is finished as the students are now finishing the process of decorating the masks. Students worked with plastercraft, papier mache, and gesso to get their masks started--all new art materials to most of the students. Finished masks are being hung up out in the halls now!

Next week the 5th graders will have a big decision to make: do they want to paint a ceiling-tile to hang up in the school and add to our "permanent collection" or do they want to begin working on a clay piece to take home for themselves? Unfortunately with our short school year (Mr. Stanley is a big fan of year-round school) there won't be time to finish both before 4th quarter begins.